Parents: Crucial Partners in preventing Childhood Obesity

We know that protein is one of the building blocks of life. Some of the sources of protein include fish, beef, pork, milk and legumes. But how do you know if your child is getting enough?

Protein requirement for children

As a child grows, the right amount of protein differs ranging from 1.12 g/kg/day in early childhood to 0.74 g/kg/day as they reach the age of ten, which soon declines after that.1 So what happens when a child does not get enough protein?

Malnutrition - undernutrition, overnutrition and obesity

Malnutrition happens when a child has an inadequate intake of protein or calories. Despite Philippine government efforts to educate parents about its consequences, including poor growth and impaired brain development, there is still a growing number of individuals with undernutrition and overnutrition, specifically obesity.2

Because of obesity's increasing incidence, a lot of research has gone into understanding how it's developed. As a risk factor for illness such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, studies also aim to uncover how to prevent it and its serious effects.

The truth about obesity

Obesity isn't just the effect of too much calorie intake and too little activity. It can begin from receiving too much protein in early life.3 By providing the right amount of protein for your growing child, you can help him avoid a life of chronic illness. Too little is definitely not good, but giving too much can likewise have its dangerous consequences!

What can I do for my child?

Being a parent is a real balancing act! Start by knowing the right amount of nutrition needed by your child that's enough to sustain his growth and activities. Give him the right quality and quantity of protein! Make the right choices in his early life, because it can spell the difference between a life of health and a life of illness.



References:

  1. Garlick PJ, Protein requirement of infants and children. Nestle Nutrtition Workshop SerPediatr Program. 2006; 58:39-47
  2. National Nutrition Council Nutrition Month Themes through the years. http://www.nnc.gov.ph/plans-and-programs/nutrition-month accessed July 25, 2015
  3. Koletzko, B. et al. Lower protein in infant formula is associated with lower weight up to 2y: a randomized clinical trial. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009; 89: 1863-45